♦ Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape Of Water comes out in UK cinemas on Valentine’s Day and so Tripwire’s editor-in-chief JOEL MEADOWS will be reviewing every film he has made up to this point. Today it’s the turn of his seventh film, Hellboy: The Golden Army, released back in 2008…
Hellboy: The Golden Army
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Stars: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, John Alexander, voice of Seth McFarlane, Luke Goss, Anna Walton
Four years after Hellboy, del Toro decided to return to Mignola’s wise-cracking, cigar-smoking demon. Hellboy: The Golden Army is a sequel that doesn’t quite match up to its progenitor but it does still have quite a lot to recommend it.
Del Toro reunites with Luke Goss from Blade II who plays faerie prince Nuada, a dead spit for Michael Moorcock’s Elric. Nuada decides to rebel against his father the faerie king, King Balor (Roy Dotrice) and unleash the golden army of the title onto humanity. So Hellboy with the aid of returning girlfriend Liz Sherman (Blair), Abe Sapien (now with the voice as well as the body of Doug Jones) and new addition Johann Krauss (the voice of Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane) has to track down and defeat prince Nuada.
The script isn’t as tight as the first film and the absence of FBI agent John Myers (Rupert Evans) and only a short cameo from Hellboy’s adopted ‘father’, Trevor Bruttelholm (John Hurt) means that The Golden Army lacks the punch of the first one. However, the production design here is amazing and del Toro with the assistance of production designer Stephen Scott and his regular director of photography Guillermo Navarro create some stand-out scenes like the Troll market, an obvious nod to Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market, the world of the faeries and the animated intro that guest stars John Hurt is a very strong opening too.
Goss looks incredible as the faerie prince and of course Perlman is always great value. The addition of Krauss in his special bodysuit to contain his essence gives the audience a few laughs. The Golden Army does flag a little in the last third but there is still enough heart and soul here that it does make you regret the fact that the director didn’t have one last tale to tell with Perlman as Big Red.
Many sequels are disappointing affairs but Hellboy: The Golden Army is a flawed but still entertaining successor to Hellboy, made with panache and the sort of visual flair that we have come to expect from Guillermo del Toro.
Here are the reviews for Days 1-5